An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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(Dec. 1, 1818-Oct. 15, 1885). Second dean of Nashotah House. He was born in Sterling, Connecticut. Cole received his B.A. from Brown University in 1838, and graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1841. At General he was a classmate of the future founders of Nashotah House. Cole was... Read More »

(May 3, 1837-Dec. 14, 1907). Bishop and church historian. He was born in Philadelphia. Coleman was ordained deacon on July 1, 1860. He graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1861. From 1860 until 1862, he was a missionary at Randall's and Blackwell's Islands, New York. On May... Read More »

In 1740 a charity school was founded in Philadelphia by George Whitefield. Trustees for an academy were named on Nov. 13, 1749. In Dec., 1749, the trustees of the academy bought the Charity School building. Classes began on Sept. 16, 1751. On July 16, 1755, a new charter was granted and the school... Read More »

In the summer of 1925, retired Bishop Philip Mercer Rhinelander (1869-1939) of Pennsylvania convened a "School of the Prophets" at the Washington Cathedral. In 1927 Alexander Smith Cochran made a gift for the construction of a College of Preachers and promised to endow the program. In 1929 Cochran... Read More »

The principle that bishops are ordained (consecrated) into a college. It is based on the assumption that bishops succeed the apostles collectively, not individually. As a consequence each bishop is responsible not only for a diocese but also for the universal church. The mode of exercise of this... Read More »

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Colombia on Nov. 12, 1963. In 1970 it became the Missionary Diocese of Colombia and later the Diocese of Colombia. The first indigenous bishop was the Rt. Rev. Bernardo Merino-Botero, who was consecrated on June 29, 1979.

The Rt. Rev. George Maxwell Randall (1810-1873), the first Bishop of Colorado, received a gift of $5,000 in 1868 from a Brooklyn, New York, merchant, George A. Jarvis, to establish a school. With this gift plus ten acres of land in Golden, Colorado, he laid the cornerstone of Jarvis Hall, on Aug.... Read More »

The state of Colorado was part of the Missionary District of the Northwest from Oct. 19, 1859, until Oct. 21, 1865, when the House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Colorado and Parts Adjacent with jurisdiction in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. On Oct. 4, 1866, the House of... Read More »

(c. 521-June 9, 597). Founder of many churches and monasteries in Ireland. He was born in Gartan, County Donegal, Ireland. Columba was trained in several Irish monasteries. He was ordained priest around 551. In 563 Columba left Ireland with twelve companions and went to the Isle of Hy or Ioua, now... Read More »

This volume consists of "Service Music," and "Songs and Hymns." It represents the results of the life of worship of the Community of Celebration. Its contents are eclectic: international, intergenerational, and sacramental. Come Celebrate! was designed to be a supplement to The Hymnal 1982. It was... Read More »

A "threatening of punishment." A service for Ash Wednesday drawn up for the first English Prayer Book of 1549 to replace the blessing of ashes. It included an exhortation on God's judgment, the solemn cursing of those who have committed various sins, Ps 51, suffrages, and a collect. It has... Read More »

Representatives of the Bishop of London appointed to oversee the work of the Church of England in the American colonies during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. By the time of the Glorious Revolution (1688), the Bishop of London held responsibility for control over Anglican... Read More »

In 1970 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a new canon, Canon III.1, which required each diocese to establish a Commission on Ministry. The number of members, their selection, and their terms of office are to be determined by diocesan canons. The functions of Commissions on... Read More »

The General Convention may establish Standing Commissions and Joint Commissions. A Standing Commission is to study and make recommendations to the General Convention on major subjects considered to be of continuing concern to the church. Members of the Standing Commissions have a six-year term,... Read More »

Companion diocese relationships are formally recognized by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church at the request of the dioceses involved, on the basis of a resolution by both partners proposing the companion relationship. The companion dioceses usually commit to the relationship for a fixed... Read More »

This journal had the subtitle, News of the Anglican Communion. It was published four times a year by the Anglican Consultative Council. It is continued by Anglican World. See Anglican Consultative Council.

The emblem of the Anglican Communion. It was designed by Canon Edward West of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. It has a stylized compass in which the center holds the Cross of St. George, surrounded by the Greek inscription "The truth shall make you free." It symbolizes the... Read More »

The last of the four services in the Daily Office (BCP, p. 127). It is descended from the night prayers said before bed at the end of the monastic round of daily prayer. Compline is a simple office including a confession of sins, one or more psalms, a short reading from scripture, versicles and... Read More »

(1632-July 7, 1713). He was consecrated Bishop of Oxford on Dec. 6, 1674, and was the ninety-fourth Bishop of London from Feb. 6, 1676, until his death. As Bishop of London he had responsibility for the Church of England in the American colonies. He was the first Bishop of London to send or name... Read More »

  Joint celebration of the eucharist by a chief celebrant and one or more concelebrants. Concelebration may or may not include recitation of all or part of the eucharistic prayer by the concelebrants. In the early church, the bishop typically served as chief celebrant and was flanked by... Read More »

Eucharistic doctrine that affirms the simultaneous presence of Christ's body and blood in each of the eucharistic elements. It contradicts a narrow identification of Christ's body with the bread and Christ's blood with the wine. The doctrine of concomitance upholds the truth that the... Read More »

A declaration of belief in the triune God, after the example of the Christian martyrs and confessors of faith. In Christian liturgy, this confession is expressed through the recitation of the ancient ecumenical creeds-the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed-and through the eucharistic prayer... Read More »

The confession of Peter is recorded in the Gospel According to Matthew (16:16), "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." The liturgical celebration of Peter's confession is celebrated on Jan. 18. It is a major feast in the Prayer Book calendar. This observance was first included in the... Read More »

An acknowledgment of sin, as in Ps 51: "Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight." Confessions of sin during the liturgy are general, made by all the people. The church also provides for confessions of sin by individual penitents, and for their absolution, pronounced by a... Read More »

Adherence of a church or denomination to particular standards, expressions, confessions, doctrines, or symbols of faith. Confessional statements focus and codify the beliefs of a church or denomination, and distinguish the church's beliefs from the beliefs of others outside the church. Many... Read More »

The term has two meanings: 1) One who suffers greatly for confessing the faith, without being martyred, and 2) the bishop or priest who hears a private confession of sin. See Reconciliation of a Penitent.

The sacramental rite in which the candidates "express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop" (BCP, p. 860). Those who were baptized at an early age and those baptized as adults without laying on of... Read More »

A member of a congregation.

On Mar. 25, 1783, Samuel Seabury and Jeremiah Leaming were elected as candidates for Bishop of Connecticut. Seabury accepted the election, and was consecrated Bishop of Connecticut on Nov. 14, 1784, by nonjuring bishops at Aberdeen, Scotland. The Diocese of Connecticut was organized at Christ... Read More »

A person's moral judgment upon himself or herself. It often indicates the sense of judgment of right or wrong regarding what has been done. For Thomas Aquinas, for example, conscience is the mind of the human person making moral judgments. In moral theology, conscience is the basis of moral... Read More »

" This clause, otherwise known as "A Statement of Conscience," was a response by the House of Bishops to the 1976 General Convention approval of a canonical change that allowed for the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate. It was initiated by Presiding Bishop John Allin's... Read More »

To set something or someone apart for a sacred purpose. The bread and wine of the Eucharist are consecrated at the Great Thanksgiving, and "the consecration" often means the consecration of the eucharistic gifts. The central prayer accompanying the laying on of hands in the ordination of bishops,... Read More »

On Mar. 25, 1783, ten clergy met at the home of the Rev. John Rutgers Marshall in Woodbury, Connecticut, and elected Samuel Seabury and Jeremiah Leaming as candidates for Bishop of Connecticut. Seabury accepted the election and sailed for England to be consecrated. He arrived in England on July 7,... Read More »

After the election of a bishop, if the date of the election is more than three months before the next meeting of the General Convention, the Standing Committee of the electing diocese shall send a certificate of election to the standing committees of all the dioceses of the Episcopal Church for... Read More »

(Commonly Called "The Martyrs of Memphis." In 1873 a group of sisters of the Sisterhood of St. Mary went to Memphis, Tennessee, at the request of Bishop Charles T. Quintard, to establish a school for girls adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Mary. They were confronted by an epidemic of yellow fever... Read More »

(c. 285-337). Roman emperor from 306 to 337. On the night before battle with an imperial rival at the Milvian Bridge near Rome in 312, Constantine had a vision that apparently led to his conversion to Christianity. He saw a fiery cross in the heavens above the statement written in Greek, "In this... Read More »


Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.